Have you ever found yourself saying something negative about yourself? It may be something like, “Why am I so stupid?” or “I’ll never amount to anything!” You may have said those things under duress or when you failed at something. These thoughts spurted out may have led you to give up. I’ve dealt with that inner critic too.
You may feel like a loser because of this enemy known as your inner critic. Yet, we tend to make bad choices because of this inner critic. Some people who are shy or afraid to speak up may have some left-over from their early childhood that was told to them. A well-meaning parent may have told their child that they are always doing stupid things. I still remember the number of times my father would call the younger me stupid. The current me looks at what my father did back then as his ignorance. He simply didn’t understand how to be a good father.
There’s a difference between the inner wisdom you possess and the inner critic. Both are at odds with each other. Where you’re at in listening to one or the other may be based on how true to yourself you are. You see, your inner critic is like some evil spirit that wants you to lose in life. Your inner wisdom wants what is best for you. Which one is best suited to guide your life?
While your inner critic may seem to all bad, it’s not. Sometimes it’s there to help you to become stronger. Here’s what I mean. You see, it may be there at a critical time to see if you’re willing to challenge yourself to overcome the criticism from others. Instead of giving in, you tell yourself, “I WILL DO IT NOW AND SUCCEED!”
Life is never full of roses. Moving through it and the inner critic may help you to develop grit. Eventually, your inner critic will calm down and your inner wisdom will surface more.
Both your inner critic and inner wisdom come from the value and beliefs you possess, your culture, your experiences, your information and so forth. As we move through life we will gather more information and experiences. Even our beliefs and values may change. If you were to reflect on your thoughts more, wisdom may start to develop. Some people tend to gain wisdom faster than others.
The most important thing is to realize how your inner critic plays a role in the decisions you make. Whether you choose to listen to what it tells you or not is up to you. Make sure to bring in your inner wisdom to evaluate. Now, here’s something where your inner critic may serve you. If you feel that something is not right and may be outright dangerous, your inner critic may tell you to not do something stupid. You may very well have to listen.
Some things you can do to help you gain confidence and silence your inner critic…
- Change your body positioning to a powerful stance. Amy Cuddy discussed how simply raising your arms up in the air and standing with a firm base increases confidence.
- Bring in people who will support you. Supportive people who all challenge you are the best.
- Hold yourself accountable and responsible for your actions. Make sure to follow through with what you say you’re going to do.
- Read biographies of people who went from zero to success. Their examples can help inspire you as well.
I hope these suggestions help you to overcome your inner critic and start you on the road to true success. I believe in you!